Bikes are great, aren’t they? They are an environmentally-friendly form of transport that can get you from A to B, while also offering a host of health benefits. You may choose to go mountain biking, be a fan of road bikes, or enjoy a bit of time on the BMX. Whichever form you choose, one thing we all look for is how we can go that little bit quicker. Here, we provide five top tips to make your bike faster:
Like in your car, your bicycle’s tyre pressure is very important to how efficiently it performs — it is one of the simplest ways to increase your speed. It’s recommended that you pump your tyres up once a week, although sometimes a mini pump will suffice.
Tyres with smaller diameters require a higher pressure, and it’s important you know what pressure your wheels are supposed to be. It can also differ depending on your own body weight so be sure to acknowledge these factors and you’ll be amazed at the difference you feel.
Keep it clean
It might sound obvious, but there’s no doubting that a clean bike is a fast bike. By ensuring you keep your drivetrain and cables clear of mud and grime, your bike will be more efficient. What’s even better is the fact you’ll save money on parts in the long run!
The best way to incorporate this is to get into a regular routine of cleaning your apparatus. Take a few minutes after each ride to wipe down your frame and mechanics and it’ll save you valuable time and effort when it comes to a big clean after the longer rides. However, make sure you go easy on the lube and use the correct one for your bike and your riding conditions. It’s important to let the oil soak in when you are lubing your chain and then wipe off any excess. Doing this will stop the onset of rust.
Have the right saddle height
You’d be amazed at how many cyclists ride with their saddle either too high or too low. Not only can this cause discomfort and potential injuries, but it will slow you down as your pedal stroke won’t be as efficient as it could be.
As a rule of thumb, you should aim to make the distance between your bottom bracket and the top of your saddle your inseam measurement minus 10cm. However, make sure you make allowances for your pedal system, as this may vary it slightly.
Don’t be daunted by the exact science if you’re going out for a bike ride and aren’t sure of your measurements. If you remember when you turn the pedals that you shouldn’t be overstretching, pointing your toe or rocking your hips, then you will be well on the way to having the seat in the right position.
Adjust your brakes
Now, this may not seem like an obvious way to help you ride faster, but it can be super important. If you are able to brake later going into corners and carry some of that speed out of the other side, then you’ll quickly see an increase in your average speed.
Although this shouldn’t be applied to everyone, those of us who are carrying an extra bit of weight may find they can gain speed by shedding a few of those unwanted pounds. Of course, if you are of a healthy weight, you can focus on reducing your bike’s weight instead of your own.
For shorter distances, think about removing your bottle and cage if they’re not needed. You can also look into removing all other unnecessary bits, such as mudguards and saddle bags. It may not seem like much, but as every bit of extra weight must be relaunched after you turn, or carried up hills, every little really does help.
So, there you have it. Five quick and easy ways to help you increase your speed on your bike.